By T S Sudhir
Like the soap operas on Sun TV, where once every few weeks, there is a flare-up, with the mother-in-law banishing the daughter-in-law (or vice versa), the curtains have gone up on yet another Act in the Karnataka nataka. The latest kahaani me twist, of course, is more “explosive”. For the salvo is not fired by the unofficial leader of the Opposition, Governor H R Bharadwaj, but the Lokayukta, Justice Santosh Hegde.
The Lokayukta is reported to have named chief minister B S Yeddyurappa, former CM H D Kumaraswamy, the infamous Bellary brothers, two more ministers and a senior Congress leader. Staying true to the adage that the family that “eats” together, stays together, the CM’s son and son-in-law also have been named. For in a very Kalaignar TV style operation, 10 crore rupees were reportedly `donated’ by a mining company to a trust owned by the CM’s family. The report says the loss to the state’s exchequer from illegal mining is 1827 crore rupees in 14 months between April 2009 and May 2010. The soot from the Bellary mining scam has blackened the face of Karnataka.
But what’s new, you may ask. True, the report only puts in black and white what has been the talk on the street for quite many months now. That Karnataka politicians are out to Bangalore the state. That Karnataka has given the traditionally bad image states like Bihar and Uttar Pradesh a run for their money. Munni badnaam huwi, Karnataka tere liye.
The BJP has reacted pathetically, saying there is nothing new in the report. Old Bellary in new Hegde. The party is more bothered about how the report got leaked and not about Hedge’s allegation that his phones have been tapped.
I hope the Congress, the BJP and Deve zzzzz Gowda’s Janata Dal don’t use the occasion to score brownie points. Iss Hamaam me sab nange and it is high time, the civil society of Karnataka says no to this crass nudity.
Now that Yeddyurappa’s Mauritius holiday has been ruined, he should come back and get out of his job. He has brought enough ignominy to himself, his chair, his party and the state. The BJP has shown to what level it can stoop to save its gateway to south India, by sending V Dhananjay Kumar to allegedly “intimidate” Justice Hege to ensure he does not mention Yeddy in the report. The party would do well to put its spokespersons on mute for a while and focus on cleaning up its home. Though with Yeddy and the Bellary wealth gone, BJP may well shut shop in Karnataka.
Deve Gowda and Sons have proved that they have the best interests of everyone in mind. Everyone in their family, I mean. I suspect Gowda will play the humble farmer card once again. Ignore him. It has been 14 years since he spoke of rising like a phoenix from the ashes. The ashes have turned cold.
And the Congress, waiting in the wings, too has got its `hand’ dirty in the till. Though I dread the cocky sneer that Manish Tewari will have on his face tonight. But with `Portugal’ S M Krishna as its tallest leader, it doesn’t have a hope in hell to occupy Vidhana Soudha. Siddharamaiah, the other aspirant, has too many crabs in the Congress to contend with, to emerge a winner.
Karnataka doesn’t deserve this. A bout of President’s rule, albeit under a non-partisan, apolitical, dynamic Governor will do the state a world of good. And Bharadwaj should be put on the next flight back to Delhi.
For the last many years, Karnataka’s politicians have ruled by hook or by crook. It is time to organise a get together for the crooks.